Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Big things happening today! I'll give you a little hint...

image from Habitually Chic

image from Christina Murphy Interiors

image from Meg Braff Interiors

image from Grays Lane

Any guesses? :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Menocal

Art is a touchy subject in our house. Kyle is of the mindset that every single piece needs to have a special and personal meaning to us. I'm a big believer that sometimes something is just pretty. Or you just want some flowers hanging in the living room. Or you just need some pink. 

Thank goodness for Happy Menocal. A few years ago, I bought one of her matador prints, because it reminded me of my time studying abroad in Spain. Kyle happens to love it as well, and we've finally found the perfect place for it in our dining room. 

Flash forward to a few days ago as I'm digging around in drawers pulling out prints and photographs trying to complete our gallery wall in the living room. Kyle wasn't having any of it. "Too girly." "Why would we want a picture of Provence? I've never been there." "Joachim Noah would look great over there." As I was taking a break, I happened upon Happy's website and saw her new collection of prints. I showed Kyle the shark, and finally, finally, we had some agreement.  You see, we saw a 5 foot shark on our honeymoon, and it's one of our favorite stories to trot out at dinner parties and prove how adventurous we can be. (In reality, it was a reef shark, and we were both terrified. Let's keep that between us though. ;) ) Now this fella is on his way, and I've already started to develop a deep affection for him.

But let's not stop with sharks and matadors. Happy also has the best collection of dog portraits, pictures of faraway places, and custom heraldry. I would love some of those intertwined and fancy letters emblazoned on stationary or hanging by the front door. 

This is only the very tip of the iceberg. If I were you, I would head over to Happy Menocal's website for oh so much more. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

all images from Caroline Joy Photography 

Happiest of Valentine's Day to you and yours! I'll be celebrating with two of my favorite guys, some steak, and just a litte vino. With guys this handsome, who wouldn't look forward to Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mela and Roam

My mom was in town this weekend, which naturally meant that some form of shopping was on the menu. Yesterday, we headed to the Houston Urban Market, which in addition to having the most amazing pimento cheese this side of the Mississippi, also always has a great selection of affordable and not so affordable things I want to bring home with me.

Last time we went, Kyle and I loved finding Mela and Roam. We brought home a beautiful kantha throw, and I was pretty excited to show my mom the gorgeous textiles in an attempt to lure her into buying one as well. 

One of the big challenges we've had since moving into our house is buying bedding. Our duvet from Atlanta was quickly tossed aside as the balmy Houston weather and difficulties with insulation and cooling in a 1920s house made us feel as though we were sleeping in a sauna. Finding light, attractive, reasonable, and unique bedding is not as easy as one might think. Enter Mela and Roam. All the textiles are so, so soft and whisper thin. Plus, they are beautiful. While mom and I were standing around trying to make decisions, every single person that walked in was oohhing and aahhing over the blankets and dohars.

The real show stoppers are her dohars. The computer images don't even do them justice, they are just beautiful and have the best details. Plus, you can just throw them in the washing machine.

all items available at Mela and Roam

Plus, they were featured in the Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House. I mean, even if I have no idea what I'm talking about, obviously they do. So - Go forth and shop

image from Urban Grace blog

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Big Reveal...

I took these pictures this morning right after our final walk through; so it's still missing a few of the do dads that "make" the room. Also, the DSLR was over served in Cuba and is currently sitting at the Camera Doctor. So...iPhone pics it is!

It was nearly impossible to get a good shot of the entire bathroom because of the placement of the door, but this gives a pretty good idea of the overall vibe of the place.

Double vanity that tried to wreak havok the day we had it brought in. In case Pottery Barn tells you that something is not assembled, that really just means that the marble isn't placed on the vanity. Thus, brining the bottom up a flight of stairs with a narrow landing will cause you to cut into the drywall (and a minor freak out). 

This picture probably captures the color the best in the room as the other two are a little bit off. 

And my favorite part...the nook! I saw one of these on Chassity of Look Linger Love's instagram and just thought it was the best idea ever. I copy catted her and now I have one too! 

I can't wait to make use of this place, and I'm hoping it will lure in many visitors who want to come visit and use our guest bath. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bathroom Accessories

The one thing I really love about our new bathroom is the fact that since we kept everything so neutral, we can mix it up pretty much anytime we want. Or we can always change the paint color to something crazy one day if we feel like it. Since we are on the theme of vintage, masculine bath at this point, I've been collecting some accessories (that are Kyle approved) to add a little bit more character.

Print from Note to Self: The Print Shop (Kyle is using this bathroom in the mornings, and I thought this might be a good subliminal message.) | Wire and Natural baskets from The Container Store | Photograph from Kristin Kirkley | Turkish Towel from The Anatolian 
Canisters from Restoration Hardware

This bathroom will also function as the guest bathroom for the most part, and I'm contemplating getting some robes to hang on the hooks in there.  However, part of me wonders if this a little too cheesy hotel styles. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bathroom Update

We're crossing our fingers that the upstairs renovation is done this week (minus all the painting we've opted to do), and I realized that I haven't mentioned hardly one thing about it. I'm going to give you fair warning that the next couple of weeks will probably be filled with an overload of information and too many pictures. 

First up - the bathroom! When I look back, it's kind of amazing how much things have stayed the same and how much things changed. After this post, I was positive we were going to go with option B. However, after pricing things out and talking with Kyle, we decided that wasn't the best option. Our other two bathrooms have a little more color and excitement (well now they do or will soon), and we decided that color scheme actually might work best in the dining room. Plus, I felt like we needed a more masculine, classic bath in the house, and Kyle was all over that option. Our plan going in was classic neutral with brass accents.

Oh brass. Every blog I read tells me I need brass, and then the blogger posts pictures of their home with gorgeous "I want to go to there" brass faucets, knobs, pulls, etc. We went to multiple stores on the hunt for a classic and well-priced brass faucet. The only options we found we're 90's style spec home, holy wow brass swan with wings for handles, or gorgeousness that cost just way more than we wanted to spend. We ended up opting for polished nickel due to the fact that it gave a little more oomph to the space but allowed us to eat dinner at night.

Then, change of plans numero dos. We were all set with our fixtures and fancy sconces when an slight problem of miscommunication occurred. And by slight I mean the bathroom was 6 inches shorter than planned and meant we needed to completely change the sconce plan in 24 hours. Enter downstairs sconces that I really, really wanted to replace. So upstairs they went, new sconces were purchased downstairs, and it just so happened that the sconces didn't look half bad in their new home. 

Okay...so many words. But here's a basic mock-up of the bathroom, and hopefully I'll be able to walk on the newly stained floors tomorrow and show you some pictures! 

Benjamin Moore Platinum Gray paint | Sconce | Medicine Cabinet | Faucet (pretty close) | Sink Console

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Design Conundrum

I read an article on President Obama in Vanity Fair a few month's back where he stated that when you make decisions, even trivial ones, it degrades your ability to make future decisions. Apparently, after all the decisions that have been made in the last few months about new furniture, things for the upstairs, and a new job, I have degraded my decision-making abilities to precisely nil. 

Last week, Kyle and I painted my grandmother's antique dresser the prettiest blue you ever did see to transform it into a sideboard. I was convinced we needed silver knobs, and once I put them on, it just didn't give me the "pow" factor I wanted. Thus, some help amigos, if you please. And yes we're talking about knobs here. Obviously things are dire if I've started posting to the blog about trivial decisions.

Here's the current look...

And here are some inspiration of fellow turquoise-ish stunners with knobs in a variety of colors. The top image is probably the closest color to our dresser.

image from Swoon Worthy

image from Style at Home

image from Hillary Thomas

The dining room is painted gray with a gray and white striped rug, natural oak table, lucite chairs, black china cabinet, and snazzy black and brass chandelier. I would show you pics, but this room currently only exists in my head as the table and rug are making their way to Houston, TX as we speak. So...polished brass? Antique brass? Silver? Stay with what we've got? 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Art of the Mix

image from domino magazine 

image from Amber Interiors 

I love a house with neutral bones. White and gray paint colors, off-white upholstered furniture, and chairs that can move from room to room are my jam. Mainly I think this stems from the fact that I like to change things up. A lot. That is how my obsession with throw pillows has grown and grown to the extent that I have a whole drawer of covers that I change out on a whim. 

I wish I had the skill set of Anna Spiro and Jamie Meares and was able to mix pillows with reckless abandon, but I'm definitely a formula kind of girl who loves a little bit of symmetry. After countless hours of flipping through domino, I've developed formulas - two solids with a mix of graphic pillows:

Or a lot of simple graphic designs with a little bohemian thrown in for good measure. I'm always on board for one pillow that's a different size, and my rule of thumb is you need at least one splurge pillow. You know, the kind you know you shouldn't buy but will make you and your couch so happy that you can't resist. I'm still working on the just one splurge pillow rule.

Pillows from left to right: Serena and Lily, John Robshaw, Hable Construction 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kerry Cassill

I'm a born and bred Southerner, and in addition to fried okra, peach cobbler, and sweet tea, I love a well-made bed stuffed to the brim with throw pillows and monograms. It runs in our blood down here. However, Kerry Cassill may be able to sway my opinion. I love her mix and match aesthetic and easy, relaxed vibe. 

We are currently working on ideas for our guest room, and I'm thinking a comfy bed seems much more appealing that one stocked to the brim with matching stiff shams. I mean, it is seriously awkward when you're staying at someone's house and have no idea where to throw all the pillows that are piled up on the bed. Now I just have to pick a pattern. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gray Malin

Top of Aspen Mountain by Gray Malin

If UPS is correct (as they usually are), these fancy skiers should be arriving at Casa Nelson sometime today. I have long been a fan of Gray Malin's beach art with the bright pops of color and aerial views. When I saw his new A la Montagne series, I knew one of these would have to come home with me. Plus, I already have the perfect place for it. Kyle and I met skiing; so what better place to hang "Top of Aspen Mountain" than above the bed in our newly painted bedroom? 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Guilty Pleasure

This book recommendation definitely doesn't fall into the "change your life when you read it" section, but it's still oh so good. I should explain that if there were an Anglophile book club, I would spend my whole life only reading books selected by its members. Throw in the English artistocracy pre-WWII, and I'm sold. I'll read whatever I can get my hands on; so naturally, Kate Morton's books were the next logical step to feeding my obsession.

So far, I can only vouch for two: The Distant Hours and The House at Riverton, and vouch for them I will. Most of her books are somewhat hefty at close to 500 pages, but they're the kind you can read in a day. They almost always involve long kept secrets, upstairs/downstairs relationships, and a peek into a gorgeous manner house. Plus, some twists and turns, an unexpected ending, and a complicated leading female character. 

Don't expect any new literary ground to be breached here, just a good old-fashioned enjoyable read. And don't expect to complete your to-do list once you break into one. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hello There...2013!

Why hello there (again)! My self-imposed hiatus of 2012 is officially over, and I'm back! In the months between I did some re-evaluating of oh-so-many things, and I've decided to revamp my blogging approach. 2012 was a complete blur filled with weddings, flights, long weekends spent painting, and a mad dash to try every restaurant in the Houston area. In an attempt to remember life a little better around here, this blog is about to get a lot more personal. I want to focus more on documenting my life and not just pretty things I want to purchase. Sure, those will still be around, but I want to work on using my camera more - to document the house process, the end of the renovation upstairs, life events, and possibly a few too many pictures of the handsome chocolate lab that lives with us.

And because everyone else is doing it...my resolutions for this year. Faith. Family. Fun. Alright, those are not so much resolutions, but the 3 F's of 2013 as I'm referring to them. An easily remembered mantra to take me through the next twelve months to remind me to grow deeper in my faith, spend more time, energy, and love on my family, and sit back and have fun ya'll. Simple enough. 

I'm not one for New Year's celebrations, but 2013 just feels different. It looks as though my inner optimist has been unleashed...

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